Managing diabetes is hard enough at home. But when it comes to eating out, typically, the challenges are magnified. Larger portion sizes, unexpected ingredients and tempting treats can often lead to increased blood glucose levels, even when you think you are selecting a diabetic-friendly menu option.
You don’t have to forgo a good meal out to maintain your blood sugar level, however. Here are four tips to maintain a healthy, diabetic-friendly diet while still enjoying a meal out with friends or family at your favorite eatery.
Check out the menu before you go. It’s easy to be tempted by all the amazing foods on a menu. That’s why it’s recommended that you plan ahead, and look at the menu options before you even enter the restaurant. This will give you the time to count carbs and choose wisely.
Exercise portion control. Restaurants often give patrons large portions. The Mayo Clinic suggests that individuals living with diabetes exercise good portion control by ordering a child’s or lunch portion instead of a larger dinner portion. You can also avoid eating too much by placing half your meal in a to-go container before you even pick up your fork.
Avoid the extras. The Mayo Clinic also cautions against eating the “extras.” Tell the server not to bring a bread basket to the table, and be sure to avoid (or at least account for) any free refills of sugary drinks. Those extras can quickly add up, resulting in increased blood glucose levels.
Substitute, substitute, substitute. Too often, your favorite entrees come with carb-loaded side dishes. To help control your carbohydrate intake, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you ask for a side salad or fruit instead of fries.